The hospital in Gaza was suspected of holding hostages during the war. The Israeli Prime Minister defended the IDF’s military operation in the facility, stating that there were indications of hostages being held there. However, the possibility of finding them was one of the reasons for entering the hospital. Palestinian medics expressed concerns forpatients and medical staff, who were cut off from the outside world after the IDF entered the hospital. The military found a tunnel shaft and weapons inside the hospital complex. The army released videos and photographs showing the tunnel shaft and weapons. The body of a hostage previously seized from Kibbutz Be’eri was found in the hospital. Talks for the release of hostages are ongoing. Human Rights Watch cautioned that hospitals have special protections under international law, emphasizing the need to minimize civilian casualties and allow humanitarian aid.
The US defended IDF’s claims and dismissed calls for a ceasefire. The State Department spokesman defended the IDF’s operations and pushed back at those doubting Hamas’s operation from within the hospital. The US is in “active conversations” with Israel to ensure humanitarian corridors and pauses in military operations. President Biden expressed his commitment to freeing the hostages and accused Hamas of committing war crimes by using civilian infrastructure as human shields. He also stated that Israel had an obligation to use caution in targeting sites. Biden mentioned ongoing efforts to provide equipment and aid to those affected by the conflict. He emphasized the need for a two-state solution to end the war.